The Pentagon Has a Zombie Apocalypse Plan

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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The Pentagon Has a Zombie Apocalypse Plan


CONPLAN 8888, the United States Strategic Command's "Counter-Zombie Dominance" plan for dealing with the rise of the undead, is not a joke.

In case there's any doubt that the Pentagon's plan to deal with a zombie uprising is a joke, the document's very first full sentence makes it clear: "This plan was not actually designed as a joke." The document states that its purpose is to "fulfill fictional Contingency Planning Guidance (CPG) tasking for USSTRATCOM to develop a comprehensive JOPES Level 3 plan to undertake military operations to preserve all 'non-zombie' human life."

The plan has three objectives: To establish a "vigilant defensive condition" to protect non-infected humans, to eradicate zombie threats and to aid civil authorities in maintaining law and order during and after an outbreak. But you may have noticed the "fictional" qualifier in the previous paragraph, and the truth is that while it's not a joke, it's not exactly a serious scenario either.

During a training session a few years ago, members of USSTRATCOM realized that "the hyperbole involved in writing a 'zombie survival plan' actually provided a very useful and effective training tool... Because the plan was so ridiculous, our students not only enjoyed the lessons, they actually were able to explore the basic concepts of plan and order development (fact, assumptions, specified and implied tasks, references etc.) very effectively."

Zombies also allow the U.S. government to avoid the potential embarrassment and other fallout that could come from using real-world adversaries in its fictional scenarios. But fictional or not, the 31-page document goes into remarkable detail with multi-stage supporting and collateral plans, operational limitations, command relationships and more. It breaks down types of zombies - pathogenic, radiation, evil magic, space, weaponized and many others - as well as their environmental effects and the legal considerations involved in handling them. Even the dreaded chicken zombie (CZ), "the only proven class of zombie that actually exists," is covered.

I have no doubt that whoever created this document had a lot of fun doing it, but there's some real-world value to it, too. Fortunately, the Pentagon recognized that fact and kept it unclassified.

"Our intent was to place this training tool 'in the wild' so that others who were interested in finding new and innovative ways to train planners could have an alternative and admittedly unconventional tool at their disposal that could be modified and updated over time. We also hoped that this type of non-traditional training approach would provide inspiration for other personnel trying to teach topics that can be very boring," the plan states. "Finally, we figured that an entry like this would not only be instructive, but possibly entertaining for personnel deployed away from their families supporting military ops abroad. If this plan help illustrate how JOPP works and brings a smile or a brief laugh in the process, so much the better."

Mission accomplished, I'd say. USSTRATCOM's CONPLAN 8888 can be read or downloaded in full from Scribd [http://www.scribd.com/doc/223872345/CONPLAN-8888#download].


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Roxas1359

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Aug 8, 2009
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Here I thought the Pentagon would deal with a zombie apocolypse the same way the president dealt with Raccoon City in Resident Evil 2/3: nuke the hell out of the place and wipe it off the map. :p
 

marioandsonic

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Well, those goddamn zombies aren't going to kill themselves, you know.

Or...kill themselves again. You get the point.
 

Vegosiux

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Well. Seeing as what happens whenever a new iPhone or someting is released, I don't think a zombie apocalypse is that unlikely...and it's even worse when they don't just shamble about slowly and clumsily.
 

Scarim Coral

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Err it's good to know that they got a plan by the thing is since the undead for the most part are not real (as in come back decay looking and crave for brain/ flesh) dealing with them could be different in reality when compared to the media version of them.
 

Meximagician

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Reminds me of an XKCD comic, where the students are doing what I can only refer to as velociraptor math:
It's got to be more useful than New Math, at any rate.
 

dyre

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Pretty interesting/amusing stuff. Putting a fun (and politically convenient) spin on training exercises seems like a nice and harmless way to improve morale.

CZ's (Chicken Zombies) are simply terrifying to behold and are likely only to make people become vegetarians in protest against animal cruelty. They appear to be no direct threat to humans.
- from the report​
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Good stuff.
 

Bindal

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Neronium said:
Here I thought the Pentagon would deal with a zombie apocolypse the same way the president dealt with Raccoon City in Resident Evil 2/3: nuke the hell out of the place and wipe it off the map. :p
I rather let them deal with it like the President in Black Ops - take a gun and go to town with it personally.

But hey, good to know that they take the whole thing at least to some degree serious.
 

NuclearKangaroo

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dammit, wont you leave me live my post apocalyptic fantasy in peace?


captcha: hard captcha is hard

well what do you know, the captcha has a sense of humor as well
 

kanetsb

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We may laugh here, but as advancements into nano-technology progress, that zombie apocalypse might be inching in closer, one day at time...
 

Darth_Payn

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I think a lot of the research that went into making the zombie-apocalypse protocol was watching a lot zombie movies and Walking Dead and writing down what the saw under the DON'T DO THAT column.
 

RedBackDragon

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Darth_Payn said:
I think a lot of the research that went into making the zombie-apocalypse protocol was watching a lot zombie movies and Walking Dead and writing down what the saw under the DON'T DO THAT column.
i wonder what they learned from the chicken zombies in poultryguiest
 

The Rogue Wolf

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We all laugh, but it is a good training/thought exercise for a number of situations that could spring up during a real-life disaster or attack: Widespread death and disease, low civilian and military morale, isolation and decontamination requirements, a lack of communication with command structures, a need to hold and defend strategic areas... it's a pretty big list.

Oh, and the importance of marksmanship. Because you always, always aim for the head.
 

SonOfVoorhees

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That plan is, every one dies. :) In the WWZ book the army fails as they are trained to shoot at the chest, which does nothing - also add Battle of Yonkers. Dammit, i still want my WWZ tv show. :)
 

Steve Waltz

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This article makes me want to slap someone (of course I never would, even with the chance, but?). My government LITERALLY wasted money planning a strategy for an attack by fictional monsters? Next, are they going to make a plan for when Godzilla attacks? This is the STUPIDEST thing I've ever heard my government do, and that is saying a LOT! And MY money went into this bleeding waste of time and space.


Seriously though, if they have a plan for a Zombie Apocalypse (that will NEVER, EVER happen, then they better have a plan for something like a giant meteor -- You know, something world threatening that actually COULD happen.
 

Dirty Hippy

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The whole thing was just to train planners. In a way that is both fun and inoffensive (In that you don't have folks worrying about why you've got a plan for attacking them.)
 

Saltyk

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Steve Waltz said:
This article makes me want to slap someone (of course I never would, even with the chance, but?). My government LITERALLY wasted money planning a strategy for an attack by fictional monsters? Next, are they going to make a plan for when Godzilla attacks? This is the STUPIDEST thing I've ever heard my government do, and that is saying a LOT! And MY money went into this bleeding waste of time and space.


Seriously though, if they have a plan for a Zombie Apocalypse (that will NEVER, EVER happen, then they better have a plan for something like a giant meteor -- You know, something world threatening that actually COULD happen.
You do realize that it's intended as a bit of a training exercise, right? It's not a serious plan and is obviously tongue firmly planted in cheek. It's literally just saying, "This is how you make up a plan." And it's intended to be something that people can read and get a laugh out of to retain the information better. This is literally a great tool for teaching. And also might have some real world applications such as Biological Weapon attack or Outbreak of some serious illness (Black Plague 2.0).

They've probably made actual plans for attacks from other serious threats such as Russia, but also insane ones that no one actually thinks will happen, such as North Korea and France. But letting that sort of thing get out would lead to Russia calling the US Government War Mongers, France insulting us and pretending that they haven't done similar things, and North Korea crowing about how 'The Great Satan' fears the might of the 'Korean People' or 'True Korea' or something.

Besides, this probably cost a fairly small amount of money in the long run, anyway.
 

J Tyran

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Its actually not a Zombie apocalypse plan at all, its about dealing with a mindless mob of humans though. You know like a large scale out of control riot, these training exercises and plans are about dealing with wide spread uncontrolled civil disorder.

Go and watch the training videos to see what I mean.
 

Arnoxthe1

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kanetsb said:
We may laugh here, but as advancements into nano-technology progress, that zombie apocalypse might be inching in closer, one day at time...
Nope. Do you know how HARD it is to evoke a blindingly enraged response consistently? The human brain is an insanely complex and incredibly varied thing. We may all run on the same hardware, but the software for everyone is almost completely different and even the hardware can be different in some ways too.

Just look at pharmaceuticals. Look how hard it is to get a semi-consistent desired response from a large group of people using a certain drug. Some won't be affected at all, some will just be a little sick, some will go flat-out crazy. You just don't know what will happen. Likewise, there can't be some sort of nanotech or disease that affects each person's brain in the same way so as to cause a very specific response because, as I said, everyone's wired so differently. It's like going into a massive program and switching out random lines of code.